Respect the Kazoo!
Did you know that this year is the 160th anniversary of the kazoo, that little cheaply made “wind instrument” that everyone masters when they’re about 2? Did you know there are kazoo enthusiasts? How about professional kazoo players?
Claiming to be “America’s only full-time kazoo player” (a distinction akin to be the country’s only full-time toast maker), Rick Hubbard says he wants Congress to make the kazoo “America’s official musical instrument,” according to an AOL news report. Though somewhat fitting (Americans love things that require no effort or talent, like watching TV or being governor of Alaska), it is still a futile effort, as everyone knows the most American musical instrument is that cow toy that goes “Mooooo” when you turn it upside down.
There were a lot of music-y things surrounding the most recent Super Bowl. The Who offered up a Vegas revue-style medley at halftime, with awkward time concessions and abrupt edits, but that was nothing compared to the aw.ful and o.ffen.sive will.i.am “remix” charity single basically chopping the balls off of one of the greatest anti-establishment songs ever written. Changing the “My Generation” line “Hope I die before I get old” to “Don’t wanna die young, I want to get old” is like changing “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah” to “She despises you, asshole, asshole, asshole.”
Also, an almost exact re-recording of The White Stripes first big hit, “Fell in Love With a Girl,” was used without permission or credit by the U.S. Air Force Reserve in its Super Bowl ad. Jack White was so pissed he wrote a typo-laden ALL CAPS response on the band’s Web site saying the band would never have anything to do with recruiting fans to fight in a war they don’t support.
Ad execs should just stick with what viewers love in their Super Bowl commercials: degradation of women, dogs doing impossible tricks and abortion.
All You Need Is Gov
Government interference is affecting the music of two different countries. In Australia, in an effort to curb alcohol abuse and regulate the alcohol industry without taxpayer money, clubs are being charged increasingly high “licensing” fees and forced to follow other strict rules if they serve alcohol past 1 a.m. Many smaller clubs that support up-and-coming artists have been hit hard.
Meanwhile, officials in Mexico want to regulate “narcocorridos,” tribute songs dedicated to drug dealers and cartel leaders. The concerns were raised with the rise on YouTube of memorial videos and songs celebrating Arturo Beltran Leyva, a cartel leader gunned down late last year by the Mexican Navy. Officials want warning labels on songs that specifically call for the commitment of a crime.
And after the U.S. Senate takes on the vitally important work of fixing college football’s BCS system, look for anti-Auto Tune legislation to come up next — assuming senators can convince huge T-Pain fan Lindsey Graham (R–South Carolina) to drop his threat of an Auto Tuned filibuster.